Scenes of chaos have emerged this week from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where thousands of people have been attempting to flee Afghanistan following the recent Taliban takeover and the collapse of the government. U.S. officials say they are racing to evacuate as many people from the country as possible before the end of the month, when American troops are scheduled to withdraw after two decades of occupation.
President Biden said Friday that 13,000 people, including Americans and Afghans who have applied for so-called special immigrant visas or SIVs, have been evacuated from Kabul since Aug. 14, and approximately 18,000 total have been removed from the country since late July.
After hastening the removal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan this month, the Biden administration was forced to ramp up the U.S. military presence in Kabul over the last few days in an effort to expedite the evacuation process before the final pullout.
As of Friday, Taylor said there were now 5,800 total troops on the ground with the capacity evacuate between 5,000 and 9,000 people out of Kabul per day. The exact number, however, depends on how many eligible people are able to make it onto the airfield, he said.
The U.S. evacuation efforts are reliant on cooperation from the Taliban, who, officials have said, are facilitating safe passage to the airport for American citizens. However, there have been many reports that Afghan citizens seeking to evacuate have encountered harassment and violence from Taliban forces.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued an alert Wednesday to people in the Afghan capital, saying it “cannot ensure safe passage” to the airport.
President Biden has promised not to leave any American citizens behind in Afghanistan, and said Wednesday that could mean keeping troops in the country past his self-imposed deadline of Aug. 31. It remains unclear how many vulnerable Afghans, including thousands of translators and others who worked for the U.S. government, will make it to safety before U.S. troops pull out of the country for good.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Friday officially apologized for their role in the country's notorious residential school system for the first time, after refusing to do so for years despite public pressure. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is the national assembly of bishops in Canada, formally recognized by the Catholic Church and part of a global network of conferences. Starting in 1831 and as recently as 1996, Canada's residential school system forcibly separated indigenous children from their families, subjecting them to malnourishment and physical and sexual abuse in what the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015 called "cultural genocide."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday signed a new law that restricts access to abortion-inducing medications, just weeks after the state rolled out a near-total ban on abortion procedures. The law on medications prohibits mail-order abortion-inducing drugs and says doctors in the state are only allowed to prescribe them up to seven weeks after conception. "Texas continues to lead the way in protecting unborn children and fostering a culture of life," Abbott said in a written statement.
An injured snapping turtle enjoyed a drink during his stay at a wildlife center in Cape Neddick, Maine.The Center for Wildlife posted video on Friday, September 24, showing the turtle enjoying a drink of water and looking up at his caretakers between sips.The center said the turtle, who they estimate to be between 40 and 50 years old, was hit by a car and suffered wounds to the body cavity. Until its wounds heal, the center said the turtle cannot be in water.“It’s hard to explain, but we can feel his body relax and get excited to be in the water,” the center said. Credit: Center for Wildlife via Storyful
Start your engines. Hollywood players are falling over themselves in the hopes of landing a new movie package featuring the “Ocean’s 11” team of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, who will reunite under the watchful eye of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” director Jon Watts. According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, the package has drawn […]
Prosecutors in Northern California on Friday charged power utility Pacific Gas & Electric with four counts of manslaughter and other felonies, alleging it failed to cut down a sickly tree that fell onto power lines and sparked a deadly wildfire. The Zogg Fire started nearly one year ago when a 100-foot (30-meter) pine tree fell onto an electrical line and started a fire that killed four people, destroyed 204 structures and burned more than 56,000 acres (22,600 hectares), Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett told reporters. That tree, leaning downslope toward the electrical line with a cavity in its trunk, had been identified as dangerous in 2018 and PG&E had a legal responsibility to remove it, Bridgett said.
Mourners held a vigil on September 24 in the Kidbrooke neighborhood of southeast London, where 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessa was attacked and killed a week earlier.Nessa’s body was found in Cator Park a day after the attack. Police arrested two men in relation to the case, both of whom have since been released. Law enforcement asked for assistance in tracking down a third man seen in CCTV footage.The case has drawn parallels to the killing of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was attacked while walking in the Clapham area of London in March. A police officer, Wayne Couzens, later admitted to her killing. The case drew widespread protests over the lack of safety for women in the UK, as well as the police response to the murder.This footage, taken at Pegler Square near Cator Park on Friday, shows mourners paying their respects at the vigil for Nessa. Credit: Naveen Rizvi – @naveenfrizvi via Storyful
As the Tony Awards return for the first time in more than two years, CBS and White Cherry Entertainment’s Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss faced a challenging task: How to hand out awards, celebrate the best in recent theater and — perhaps most crucially — hammer home the fact that Broadway is back and open […]
An impromptu border camp was emptied of thousands of Haitian migrants Friday, with most remaining in the United States for now and others expelled on deportation flights or returned to Mexico. This comes after images of U.S. border guards on horseback used reins like whips against Haitian migrants near their camp sparked widespread outrage across the U.S. over the past week. Actions President Joe Biden condemned on Friday: “To see people treated like they did. Horses nearly running them over. People being strapped. It's outrageous. I promise you those people will pay. (FLASH) There will be consequences. It's an embarrassment, it's beyond an embarrassment. It's dangerous, it's wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world, it sends the wrong message at home. It's simply not who we are.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said nearly 30,000 migrants had been encountered in Del Rio in the past two weeks.More than 12,000 will have a chance to make their case for protection before a U.S. immigration judge, an estimated 8,000 voluntarily returned to Mexico, and 2,000 were expelled to Haiti. The fate of others detained is to be decided.The Biden administration has faced backlash after the contentious use of expulsion flights back to Haiti.Mexico has also sought to bus and fly Haitians to its southern states, far from the U.S. border.The U.S. government in May extended temporary protection from deportation to Haitians in the United States, citing a political crisis, rights abuses, crime, and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare in the Western hemisphere's poorest country.
The gunman behind Thursday's mass shooting near Memphis, Tennessee, was a third-party vendor for the Kroger supermarket where he shot 15 people, and one fatally, and had no history of violence, authorities said on Friday. The eruption of gunfire on Thursday afternoon stunned suburban Collierville, sending shoppers and employees scurrying for cover in store aisles and freezers before the shooter took his own life amid a massive police response, they said. Authorities increased their initial count of the number of victims by two to 15, including Olivia King, a widowed mother of three grown sons, who was killed at the scene, and others who fought for their lives overnight at area hospitals.
A number of Hollywood celebrities have taken to social media this week to show solidarity with the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees ahead of a strike vote. Talks between IATSE and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have broken down as the workers who support productions seek improvements on meal and rest […]